Thursday, December 22, 2016

Getting Involved with Your Community

When I started my position as a public librarian in January, I learned after a couple of months that the Daughters of the American Revolution met once a month at my library. I've always wanted to join DAR because I love American history and researching my family. I knew that I have quite a few patriots up in my tree, but had yet to really do the leg work to find indisputable proof. Knowing that the local chapter of the DAR met at my library, I felt like I no longer had an excuse to put off doing the research. The registrar, Patti, was such a great help. The first application, using a patriot by the name of John Craighead didn't really work. Apparently the evidence was considered a bit flimsy. So, we tried a different ancestor, Joseph Ellis, and that worked just fine. I've been a member now since August.

In my chapter, I'm now known as the librarian who can help if there are questions about the A/V equipment in the room, or booking rooms, or using Ancestry on our library computers. It's really opened me up to a whole new set of ladies who may have only ever come into the library one Saturday a month for the chapter monthly meeting. Today, I spent a couple of hours wrapping gifts at the local Barnes & Noble with other ladies from the DAR to raise money for veterans. We had a lot of fun and we were not only able to talk about what the DAR does, but I was able to represent my library well.

Does your library host a lot of meetings of clubs, associations, and organizations? If possible, try to join one. Besides the DAR, we also have knitting, cross stitch, and crocheting clubs, book clubs, non-profit organizations, charities, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and a lot more. By spending a bit of time just socializing and working with groups that meet at your library, you are getting to know your community and helping to spread the word about all the great services your library provides.

P.S. The DAR has a bad rap lately, thanks for the TV show, The Gilmore Girls. Don't believe it. Not only are we welcoming to ALL ladies who can prove descent from a patriot (either someone who fought in the Revolution, or someone who gave towards the cause, or in my case, suffered depredation under the British). The application process is easy and doesn't include undergoing a snooty panel interview like you see here.

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